10 Black-Owned Candle Companies We Absolutely Love (and Why)

published May 5, 2021
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Credit: Elissa Crowe

There are tons of incredible Black-owned companies out there creating everything from handmade home decor to beverages. But the Black-owned brands that I’m most excited to spread the word about make candles. Yes, it’s partly because I’m a candle fanatic who buys at least one new scent a week. But it’s also because the companies I’ve been buying from lately have incredible stories — and the intoxicating scents to match. One brand pairs candles with tea and mood-setting playlists, while another was founded by three young brothers who wanted to earn extra money for video games (spoiler alert: their candles are now sold in Target, no big deal … ).

Shop 10 of our favorite fun, inspiring, and oh-so-yummy Black-owned candle brands below.

Alexandra Winbush

This innovative Black- and female-owned company is doing candles like no one else in the business. Aside from the fact that all of her scents are positively addicting, founder Brittney Winbush‘s candle sets are paired with a tea flavor and a corresponding Spotify playlist. The brand’s popularity skyrocketed in 2019 when actress and filmmaker Issa Rae endorsed it on Instagram.

The 125 Collection

Based in Harlem, New York, this female- and Black-owned small business is successfully staking claim in the candle industry thanks to empowering and super-relatable messages. “I love candles and fragrances and wanted to create a sense of peace in the home that was encouraging and uplifting,” founder Valerie Wray previously told AT. Like all of The 125 Collection’s candles, the “I’d Love To But, My Dog Said No” (so true) is available in any of the brand’s five intoxicating aromas.

Forvr Mood

Beauty influencer Jackie Aina took her millions of online followers and led them to sweeter-smelling pastures when she founded her candle company, Forvr Mood, in 2020. With witty scent names like “Hey, Big Head” and “Grown Folks Biz,” this candle company became an instant hit with folks that want to add a little humor to their self-care routine. Each of her candles, like the “Skinny Dipped” candle shown above, is made from 100 percent coconut soy wax and burns up to 65 hours.

Frères Branchiaux

Frères Branchiaux Candle Co. is a home fragrance company based in the Washington, DC Metro area and founded by three brothers — Collin, Ryan, and Austin Gill — who were all under the age of 16 at the time. The Gill boys wanted higher allowances to purchase more video games, so their parents told them that they needed to “get a job or start a business” if they wanted more money. That dose of tough love birthed the now-super-successful Frères Branchiaux Candle Co., which is available at a variety of retailers, including Target. Scents like “Love Jones” and “This Woman’s Work” are vegan and soy based, and they burn up to 40 hours.

Harlem Candle Co.

Harlem Candle Co. makes luxury candles that celebrate the neighborhood’s rich cultural history. Many draw inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance, like this one, which is dedicated to Langston Hughes. It takes pieces of the great poet’s life — the worn vintage leather of his favorite armchair, the ambery incense that recalls his many visits to churches in Mexico — to craft an intoxicating scent and an equally rich story to go along with it. 

Spoken Flames

This New York-based and Black-woman-founded candle brand sells “experiential candles” that you simply can’t find anywhere else, like this inspiring “F, Yes” trio (aka Focused, Fearless, Favored). When the burning flame is seen through the lens of a Spoken Flames Instagram filter (accessible on Instagram at @SpokenFlames), a meditative augmented reality experience follows.

Gilded

Skincare company Gilded Body is not only known for luxurious body products, but also for its gorgeous marbled candles that smell just as good as they look. Founder Blair Armstrong is a graduate of Emory University’s Physician’s Assistant Program, and her brand combines her passion for dermatology with her love of architecture, sculpture, and history. The pink onyx candle shown above features mesmerizing, jewel-like translucence and exotic banding in diverse shades. Designed to be repurposed or refilled with a new scented wax, Gilded’s marble vessels are zero-waste staples to be kept and cherished.

ReBourné

This bold and beautiful Black-owned candle brand makes candles that are both affordable and unique. When founder Erin C. suffered a debilitating accident, she turned to candlemaking as a way to soothe her anxiety and ignite creativity. The company blossomed, and Erin soon expanded her line to include incense, body products, and fine fragrances. The coffee-and-amaretto-scented Energy candle is a bold, rich, and intoxicating blend that’s the next best thing to a morning cup of joe.

Natural Annie Essentials

Natural Annie Essentials is one of Etsy’s most popular candle sellers, and it’s not hard to see why. This Black-owned brand is based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and all of their creations are totally bold and beautiful. You’ll find delicious scents like Brown Sugar Rum and empowering phrases like “Be The Change.”

In 2017, designers and entrepreneurs Byron and Dexter Peart embarked on a new mission. After founding the acclaimed brand WANT Les Essentiels in 2007, the twin brothers went on to launch GOODEE, a curated marketplace offering the best sustainable homewares and lifestyle products. The brand partnered with Frama to created a luxurious collection of candles, including this Beratan candle, a lush blend of orange, bergamot heart, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.